In a March 14 article, Politico highlighted several "of the country's most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals" who have criticized Sarah Palin and attacked her prospects of running for president. From the Politico:
Among those taking aim at Palin in recent interviews with POLITICO are George F. Will, the elder statesman of conservative columnists; Peter Wehner, a top strategist in George W. Bush's White House, and Heather Mac Donald, a leading voice with the right-leaning Manhattan Institute.
Matt Labash, a longtime writer for the Weekly Standard, said that because of Palin's frequent appeals to victimhood and group grievance, "She's becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition."
This year, the conservative intelligentsia doesn't just tend to dislike Palin -- many fear that her rise would represent the triumph of an intellectually empty brand of populism and the death of ideas as an engine of the right.
"This is a problem for the movement," said Will about what Palin represents. "For conservatism, because it is a creedal movement, this is a disease to which it is susceptible."
Asked if the GOP would remain the party of ideas if Palin captures the nomination, Will said: "The answer is emphatically no."
Columnist Charles Krauthammer, without talking about Palin specifically, noted that "there's healthy and unhealthy populism" and her is concerned about the rise of the latter.
"When populism becomes purely anti-intellectual it can become unhealthy and destructive," said Krauthammer.
Wehner, now a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, cited the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan's famous 1980 declaration that the GOP had become "a party of ideas."
"Conservatives are very proud of that," Wehner said. "But she seems at best disinterested in ideas or least lacks the ability to articulate any philosophical justification for them. She relies instead on shallow talking points."